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Travel Athens: Where to Stay, Eat, Drink, and Shop

By , September 30th, 2013

Our second set of trivago WorldTrip winners will visit the exciting city of Athens, Greece shortly and stay at the modern and luxurious 5-star Hilton Athens hotel  located in the city center.  In a recent blog post, trivago recommended the top things to do and see in Athens with a large focus on ancient Greece.  Today we look beyond the typical historical attractions and take a closer look at some of the more modern neighborhoods and hotspots that the locals love to frequent.  The best way to experience the real Athens is to explore places off the beaten path that are truly unique to Athens.  Read on for our suggestions on where to sit and sip on a coffee, eat traditional Greek food, shop, and enjoy a cocktail.

1.  Start your day with a delicious breakfast  in the executive lounge of the Hilton Athens while enjoying the spectacular view of ancient Greece.

[caption id="attachment_2500" align="alignnone" width="2299"]Hilton Athens Hilton Athens[/caption]

2.   Take a stroll down the famous Ermou Street, the city’s best known and busiest shopping street.  No visit to Athens is complete without visiting this lively area.  Lined with a wide variety of shops and cafes, Ermou Street does not disappoint even the trendiest of fashionistas.

[caption id="attachment_2461" align="alignnone" width="640"]Ermou Street in Athens Ermou Street[/caption]

3.  Head over to the Parliament on Syntagma Square and watch the changing of the guard which takes place in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The changing of the guard takes place every hour, and these statuesque presidential guards, “evzones”, will mesmerize you with their perfectly synchronized movements.  On Sundays at 11:00 am the guards perform a more elaborate ceremony in full ceremonial dress, accompanied by a military band.

[caption id="attachment_2471" align="alignnone" width="2592"]Changing of the Guards:  Parliament Changing of the Guards: Parliament[/caption]

4. Indulge in a coffee break at Svoura on Drakou Street.  After sightseeing and shopping, walk over to Drakou Street in the Koukaki neighborhood in the center of Athens.  Svoura is a  quiet little cafe with a cute garden (and hammocks!) that turns into a bar at night.  You’ll feel like you’re in another world away from the bustling city.

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5. Experience the hip neighborhood of Gazi. Gazi, nowadays a diverse and trendy cultural area, was once a meeting place for artists.  Gazi’s abundance of cool theaters, bars and restaurants makes it the place to go, day or night.  Visit the Greek tavern, Cinnamon, to sample traditional Greek dishes.  Afterwards, head to Gazarte, an establishment that houses a music hall, bookstore, and cinema and have a cup of coffee on the terrace.

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6.  Socialize with the posh and stylish crowd in the upscale Glyfada neighborhood, where many of Greece’s millionaires and celebrities reside.  Lounge at the trendy Balux Cafe, where high heels are pretty much mandatory.

[caption id="attachment_2476" align="alignnone" width="450"]Balux Cafe Balux Cafe[/caption]

7. Walk along the Pasalimani area in Piraeus, Greece’s largest port.  Lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and cinemas, the promenade area is a great place to spend a sunny day.  Mikrolimano is the most picturesque harbor in Piraeus, so make sure to stop and enjoy a meal at a traditional seafood restaurant and have a coffee at one of the many cafes along the water.

[caption id="attachment_2477" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Piraeus Piraeus[/caption]

8.  When the sun sets, the Galaxy Restaurant & Bar at the Hilton Athens is the perfect place to spend your evening.  From the moment you step into this rooftop bar, you will understand why Galaxy is a hotspot for Athens’ trendy residents.  Gaze at the spectacular view of Athens while sipping on creative cocktails and listening to hip beats.

[caption id="attachment_2478" align="alignnone" width="2000"]Galaxy Restaurant and Bar at Hilton Athens Galaxy Restaurant and Bar at Hilton Athens[/caption]

Hilton Athens is situated in a prime location overlooking the ancient Acropolis with a perfect view of the unmistakable Athens cityscape.   Just 25 minutes from the Athens International Airport with direct subway, Hilton Athens is an ideal base from which to explore the wonders of ancient Greek culture and visit museums. Guests can enjoy a comfortable stay in a luxurious and beautiful environment. The Hilton Athens hotel features spacious, modern rooms, three fabulous swimming pools and the tranquil Hiltonia Spa.

[caption id="attachment_2479" align="alignnone" width="2912"]Hilton Athens Hilton Athens[/caption]

The spacious, air-conditioned rooms combine stunning ergonomics with minimalist décor and are outfitted with high-speed internet and flat screen TVs.  Guests who stay in an Executive Room or Suite have access to the Executive Lounge, where guests can enjoy a free breakfast and free drinks, snacks and refreshments throughout the day.

[caption id="attachment_2480" align="alignnone" width="1000"]Hiltonia Spa at Hilton Athens Hiltonia Spa at Hilton Athens[/caption]

The Hiltonia Spa is the perfect place to retreat after a long day.  Relax with a massage or book a rejuvenating facial.  Afterwards, take a dip in the indoor or outdoor pool.  Guests who want to try the local Greek cuisine are in luck.  There are several onsite restaurants and lounges that are quite noteworthy.  Milos is popular amongst local celebrities and is known for its delicious Greek gourmet cuisine while Byzantino is famous for serving the best Sunday brunch in the city. Enjoy a cocktail and a spectacular views at the Galaxy Restaurant & Bar and relax in the Oasis Pool Bar & Grill poolside.

[caption id="attachment_2482" align="alignnone" width="2953"]Hilton Athens Lobby Hilton Athens Lobby[/caption]

If you are planning a corporate event or meeting, the Hilton Athens boasts 22 conference and event rooms that can accommodate up to 1300 people.  There is also a Support Center that is staffed 24 hours a day.